NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville Organized for Action and Hope organization held a press conference Thursday to address questions they still have regarding the two officer-involved shootings in Davidson County last Friday.
Of those questions were calls for more transparency from police while body and dash camera videos of both incidents were released on the Metro Police YouTube page.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Metro police are conducting their own investigations of both incidents at this time.
“Are there alternative solutions, are there things that we can implement and put in place?” NOAH organizer Jerome Moore said.
In the Greer Road shooting where a woman was injured in Goodlettsville, NOAH suggests mental health professionals should have been contacted once officers learned she was not mentally sound.
“Those should be mental health professionals dealing with those calls initially. They should be the first responders,” Moore said.
The NOAH group submitted a proposal to Metro police on their HEALS approach, which would qualify counselors and therapists as first responders. Humphreys County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Rob Edwards said that’s a good idea in theory, but violence is a key factor to that response.
“It would be great if they were able to do that. But are you going to have those types of people responding to that call with that young lady with a pick axe? I don’t think so,” Edwards said.
Another way Moore suggests situations with the officer-involved shootings could have been handled better was if use of force policies were more transparent.
During the press event on Thursday, the NOAH group suggested why Nika Nicole Holbert was pulled over and if it had to do with her race.
“How she was pulled over, the searching, and all of those things,” Moore said.
Metro Police told News 2 after reviewing Officer Josh Baker’s body camera video, which is available on YouTube, the reasons for Holbert’s stop was obvious. Spokesperson Don Aaron said Holbert was driving a car of a man wanted on felony drug warrants, she was driving without a license and acknowledged she had marijuana in the car.
The NOAH group hopes that after reviewing all of the video and conducting investigations on both of these shootings, it will open up a bigger conversation about use of force policies in Nashville.
Metro police said they plan to review this footage for training purposes to learn from these situations in the future.